Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D Gordon Laing, May 2013

Canon EOS SL1 100D vs Panasonic Lumix G3 Quality

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To compare real-life performance I shot this scene with the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D and the Panasonic Lumix G3, within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings; my RAW comparison is on the next page. I plan on repeating the test with a Lumix G6 when they become available.

The Canon EOS SL1 / 100D was fitted with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 STM kit lens and the Lumix G3 with the Lumix G 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens. Both lenses were adjusted to deliver the same picture width as seen opposite. The narrower 4:3 aspect ratio of the Lumix G3 meant a small strip of grass at the bottom and sky at the top was cropped from its composition.

Image stabilisation was disabled for this tripod-mounted test and all other settings were left on the defaults.

  Canon EOS SL1 100D results
1 Canon EOS SL1 100D Quality JPEG
2 Canon EOS SL1 100D Quality RAW
3 Canon EOS SL1 100D Noise JPEG
4 Canon EOS SL1 100D Noise RAW
5 Canon EOS SL1 100D Multi-shot NR
6 Canon EOS SL1 100D Sample images

The image above was taken with the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D. The camera was set to f5.6 in Aperture priority mode and the sensitivity to 100 ISO; I'd previously confirmed that f5.6 delivered the sharpest result with the new EF-S 18-55mm STM kit lens. I used the same aperture for the Lumix G3, again having pre-determined this to deliver the best results. Both cameras were using their default settings for picture styles, contrast enhancements and lens corrections; you're basically looking at out-of-camera JPEGs below, although I have a second comparison using RAW files on the next page.

The Canon features 18 Megapixels across a 3:2 aspect ratio frame, while the Panasonic features 16 Megapixels across a squarer 4:3 shaped frame. I matched their coverage across the short axis (horizontally for this composition), so the Lumix G3 cropped a little from the top and bottom of the Canon's original coverage. As such, both cameras were sharing roughly the same pixel density across the areas evaluated, and hence show similar magnification in the crops. Speaking of which, I took four crops from each image, indicated by the red squares in the image above right and reproduced them at 100% below.

At first glance, the crops from the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D look preferable to the Lumix G3 with sharper details and a punchier appearance, but it's important to consider how much of this is due to processing as opposed to actual recorded detail. Canon has a reputation for applying fairly high degrees of sharpness and contrast by default, especially on its consumer cameras, and this is apparent on the crops from the EOS SL1 / 100D below.

In contrast the crops from the Lumix G3 look relatively soft and subdued in comparison, but once again this is down to their respective processing strategies more than anything else. On my Canon EOS SL1 / 100D RAW quality results page you'll see how they compare when both share the same approach to processing. But in the meantime anyone coming from a point-and-shoot camera will probably prefer the punchier approach of the EOS SL1 / 100D for its in-camera JPEGs, but remember you can easily boost the sharpness and contrast on the Lumix G3 if you prefer this style, or of course tone-down the Canon if desired.

Before moving on, it's important to evaluate the impact of the new EF-S 18-55mm STM kit lens. The earlier EF-S 18-55mm IS often exhibited uneven sharpness in my tests, ultimately letting down the EOS bodies which were sold with it, but the new EF-S 18-55mm STM looks much more promising with uniform sharpness across the frame, not to mention a decent degree of detail. I plan on conducting a more detailed examination of its performance in the future.

Right, now let's get onto those Canon EOS SL1 / 100D RAW quality results.


Canon EOS SL1 / 100D JPEG
Panasonic Lumix G3 JPEG
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 160 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 160 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 160 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 160 ISO

Canon EOS SL1 / 100D results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise / Multi-Shot NR

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